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darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 11:29:04 AM permalink
This was 25 years ago and I didn't want to discuss it as some of it is my fault and this forum has a habit of rubbing it in. But people keep bringing up why I won't trust credit cards so here goes.

The first part was my issue. The second was theirs.

FIRST PART

I spent my twenties financing two feature films I directed right after film school. Difficult market to make it. It did lead to a technical carrier in film as the work I did on my film to save money was seen by labs and I got job offers.

I used Credit Cards for a good chunk of the money. I was working and making my payments until I moved out of my parents home.

Suddenly the burden of rent and utilities and just living on my own mid-twenties left me over-extended.

I remember sending off $500 a month to my cards (a lot in the late eighties for a twenty-something) but my monthly interest charges were $600.

Imagine sending off like clockwork each month $500 leaving you flat broke and the next month you owe $100 more than the previous month.

This situation went on for a few years until I had enough training under my belt for an occasional side gig. These side gigs paid extremely well. It was the film biz after all.

I had about 6 or 8 outstanding cards but most were small and I was making my payments on time keeping interest low.

The big one was killing me. So when I got a side gig that lasted a month and paid just over what I owed to this card, I decided to nix them.

I sent them a check. I think it was north of $5000 but it's 25 years ago. Again that was a lot back then for a twenty-something.

Along with paying my balance in full I gave instructions to close my account. I was done with them.

It was a great relief to have that huge weight lifted.

But of course life isn't that easy. The real nightmare was just beginning

SECOND PART

When the next month came and I received my monthly bill from them I didn't even bother to open it. Yeah, another mistake. I was young and dumb as the saying goes but I figured they had closed my account and were just sending confirmation.

So when the next month another bill arrived I questioned what was happening. Perhaps they didn't close my account or maybe their system was just sending out automated mail and hadn't caught up?

Imagine my shock when I opened the bill to find not one cent had been credited to my account from the full payment of liability I had sent in AND they had naturally added late fees, penalties, overdraft fees(from the late fees and penalties which they had added on) and a demand for instant payment.

I contacted my bank which confirmed the money had been collected by the CC company. It was an issue I had to bring up with them.

It only took them 15 minutes to figure out what had happened. Due to a keystroke error, my entire payment had been credited to someone else's account!

I wasn't worried yet. After all, this was a reputable banking institution, right?

Yeah right!

They informed me they could not simply credit my account. The funds had to come from somewhere. I would have to wait until they got restitution from the person whose account was credited. Call back a week later.

A week later after having to re-explain everything in excruciating detail for anyone to do a follow-up they informed me the person had spent their sudden windfall. They would have to follow up with getting restitution from them but there was nothing they could do. Unfortunately I had to keep paying the bills and interest and late fees accrued until they had settled the situation.

Back under the wheel of debt even after I had already paid them. They would not even freeze adding the interest and late penalties etc because the system showed I still owed the money.

Month after month the depression set in as I sank further in. I simply put my foot down and refused to pay them anymore.

I sought out an attorney but he said it made no sense. His fees would wind up equal or more than the CC bill. I was simply on my own with the sinking ship.

After half a year all the work to at least keep from having collection agencies come after me was ruined as this same CC sent me collection notices

Then my other cards which I hadn't missed any payments on sent me notice they were practically doubling my interest due to delinquency notice from that other institution.

It was like one big joke where one person stabs you and suddenly everyone wants in.

Nearly a year later I finally received a bill from them that was credited in full (almost). They never called me back or anything. I don't know what the final resolution was but I assume they either won in court or froze the other guys money or maybe he just did pay it back.

I said they almost had me paid in full. They wanted a fifty dollar process fee and had already slapped on a months interest lol.

After getting ahold of a manager he confirmed they had charged me the fee for processing my account correction and money transfer. (After some hollering I did get that dropped)

Of course my other cards never dropped their exorbitant interest rates back down. They had their cash cow and they weren't giving that up. Phone calls were just a waste of time. Bounced around from department to department that didn't have a clue what to do.

Eventually I ended up fully paid on all my credit cards. Of course they started sending me new offers.

First offer I got? From the Furshlugginer CC that had given me a years hell naturally.

Threw that in the trash and most all after that.
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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September 4th, 2020 at 11:40:16 AM permalink
I couldn't read your entire post. But THIS>>>>>

If you are in control of your finances, meaning you don't use a credit card as a loan, then the benefits of a credit card are HUGE. If I charge $100k per year, I probably get $4k of REAL value. For doing NOTHING other than paying attention to specific offers, and NEVER missing a payment so paying NO interest..... EVER!
darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 11:49:34 AM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

I couldn't read your entire post. But THIS>>>>>

If you are in control of your finances, meaning you don't use a credit card as a loan, then the benefits of a credit card are HUGE. If I charge $100k per year, I probably get $4k of REAL value. For doing NOTHING other than paying attention to specific offers, and NEVER missing a payment so paying NO interest..... EVER!



Wonderful for you.

Since you didn't read the entire post there isn't much more to discuss as it explains my feeling towards CC
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
ChumpChange
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September 4th, 2020 at 11:50:36 AM permalink
It looks like the CC company miscredited someone else on purpose to affect you.
SOOPOO
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September 4th, 2020 at 11:52:24 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Wonderful for you.

Since you didn't read the entire post there isn't much more to discuss as it explains my feeling towards CC



I read more than enough. You used it as a loan. And one you were not prepared for the terms of. I'm telling people that it is downright foolish to NOT take advantage of all the great offers, rebates, etc... JUST DON"T USE IT AS A LOAN.
ChumpChange
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September 4th, 2020 at 11:56:33 AM permalink
I have one credit card that has so many thousands of complaints at the BBB it's really thin ice using it and people get shorted at the ATM's complain, and get their accounts closed involuntarily. Customer service is in India, where people have severe financial stress, so looting from their computers over there is probably easy.
darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 12:00:42 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

It looks like the CC company miscredited someone else on purpose to affect you.



I have always suspected that.

But I have no proof.

Definitely didn't leave me trusting a CC Company
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 12:02:52 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

I read more than enough. You used it as a loan. And one you were not prepared for the terms of. I'm telling people that it is downright foolish to NOT take advantage of all the great offers, rebates, etc... JUST DON"T USE IT AS A LOAN.



So you understand I paid off all my credit card and still got screwed?

Or you didn't read that far I am guessing
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
OnceDear
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odiousgambit
September 4th, 2020 at 1:24:55 PM permalink
Quote:

...I sent them a check....
...I contacted my bank which confirmed the money had been collected by the CC company. It was an issue I had to bring up with them.

It only took them 15 minutes to figure out what had happened. Due to a keystroke error, my entire payment had been credited to someone else's account!



To this Brit, that just sounds wrong on so many levels: You wrote a check, presumably to their collections account. What sort of cock up could see that deposited to a consumer account? Or was it credited to the card account of another of their customers. If they did that in error, so what? Their problem.
On what mixed up continent could that be your problem?
Unless you had given ambiguous instructions on what to do with the funds, what happened after them receiving your check is their problem.
Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no satisfaction in trying to understand, for he would rather express his own opinion.
SOOPOO
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OnceDear
September 4th, 2020 at 2:33:57 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

So you understand I paid off all my credit card and still got screwed?

Or you didn't read that far I am guessing



Sounds like you were complaining mostly about the interest at first. If you paid in full, and they ignored your payment in full, then accept my apologies.

My point is that if you ever had a dealer hit you when you said stand, and you received no satisfaction from the pit boss, did you decide BJ is no good? I am telling you, for a guy who makes as much as you do, and presumably spends a lot, PROPER use of credit cards is a NO BRAINER. Free stuff!
darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 2:36:43 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Sounds like you were complaining mostly about the interest at first. If you paid in full, and they ignored your payment in full, then accept my apologies.

My point is that if you ever had a dealer hit you when you said stand, and you received no satisfaction from the pit boss, did you decide BJ is no good? I am telling you, for a guy who makes as much as you do, and presumably spends a lot, PROPER use of credit cards is a NO BRAINER. Free stuff!



I appreciate the advice.

For me it's like trying to convince a survivor of a jet airline crash why it's better to fly.

It certainly is better to fly. Quicker and even cheaper. But don't be upset when that person still insists on taking the train
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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September 4th, 2020 at 2:44:48 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

I appreciate the advice.

For me it's like trying to convince a survivor of a jet airline crash why it's better to fly.

It certainly is better to fly. Quicker and even cheaper. But don't be upset when that person still insists on taking the train



I guess I'm too logical. I have a colleague who refuses to fly. He now has a son who lives in LA, we are in Buffalo, and he took a train to spend a few days with him, and a train back. Just doesn't want to ever fly again; not sure if there was an exact precipitating event. I don't love flying, but I'm not driving 30 hours to Vegas when I can be a tad uncomfortable for 4 on Southwest. You know it is FAR safer to fly to Vegas than drive 30 hours to get there.

Frankly, darkoz, I think if you started APing Credit Cards you would become GREAT at it, and do far better than I do.

The best Credit Card AP I know is my ex-wife. She will get a card, get the super bonus after 30 or 90 days, then cancel and get a new one.
Mission146
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September 4th, 2020 at 2:57:32 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

I guess I'm too logical. I have a colleague who refuses to fly. He now has a son who lives in LA, we are in Buffalo, and he took a train to spend a few days with him, and a train back. Just doesn't want to ever fly again; not sure if there was an exact precipitating event. I don't love flying, but I'm not driving 30 hours to Vegas when I can be a tad uncomfortable for 4 on Southwest. You know it is FAR safer to fly to Vegas than drive 30 hours to get there.

Frankly, darkoz, I think if you started APing Credit Cards you would become GREAT at it, and do far better than I do.

The best Credit Card AP I know is my ex-wife. She will get a card, get the super bonus after 30 or 90 days, then cancel and get a new one.



I like my doctors logical, especially when the primary focus of their medicine involves being good at math, as your case.

We're all different, but I agree on the credit card game...though sometimes people are tempted by the Buy Now, Pay Later, component and get underwater, even if they technically know how to use them for maximum benefit.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Gandler
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September 4th, 2020 at 4:46:06 PM permalink
What was the major credit card company or bank that did this to you?
You might as well throw them under the bus as it does not sound like you care about keeping good terms with them.
That sounds like a massive screwup or an intentional scam, either way should be avoided.
darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 5:08:33 PM permalink
Quote: Gandler

What was the major credit card company or bank that did this to you?
You might as well throw them under the bus as it does not sound like you care about keeping good terms with them.
That sounds like a massive screwup or an intentional scam, either way should be avoided.



I want to say emphatically that it was TDBank but after 25 years and I had six or 8 cards at the same time, I don't think I can say for sure

It definitely was not Chase, Bank of America or Discover. It's funny I had those and know for a fact it wasn't them as if I blocked out the bad cards and kept the good (or at least the good in comparison)
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Gandler
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September 4th, 2020 at 5:29:45 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

I want to say emphatically that it was TDBank but after 25 years and I had six or 8 cards at the same time, I don't think I can say for sure

It definitely was not Chase, Bank of America or Discover. It's funny I had those and know for a fact it wasn't them as if I blocked out the bad cards and kept the good (or at least the good in comparison)



Well I am sorry eithet way, that sounds like a rough expierence.
darkoz
darkoz
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September 4th, 2020 at 5:42:15 PM permalink
Quote: Gandler

Well I am sorry eithet way, that sounds like a rough expierence.



Thanks
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
AlanMendelson
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September 4th, 2020 at 6:18:08 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

They informed me they could not simply credit my account. The funds had to come from somewhere. I would have to wait until they got restitution from the person whose account was credited.



What?
Johnzimbo
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RogerKint
September 4th, 2020 at 7:11:59 PM permalink
I have had bad experiences at Circus Circus too :)

I think I might have torched their headquarters in frustration. I feel your pain
jjjoooggg
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September 4th, 2020 at 10:34:59 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Wonderful for you.

Since you didn't read the entire post there isn't much more to discuss as it explains my feeling towards CC




a woman in class had the same problem with credit cards. The solution was to cut them up. Its different when you use cash psychologically.
Born in Texas and lived in Texas my whole life.
Minty
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September 4th, 2020 at 10:57:56 PM permalink
Yeah, I could see how an incident like that would have lingering effects! I absolutely hate taking the time to speak with customer service reps or even more likely go through an automated menu to try to resolve financial disputes that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Being in a position where you can't hold them accountable since you don't have the cash for a lawyer and they'd be expensive anyway just shows how these companies can strong arm the little guy without any difficulty. As others have mentioned, the mounting interest was on you, but you acknowledged that. Them loading you up with more charges after you've already paid is rubbish.

There are lots of perks from credit cards and I assume you're in a much better financial position now. You could always dip your feet back in if you're looking to try again. Doesn't mean you need a half dozen of them.
"Just because I'm not doing anything illegal, doesn't mean I won't have to defend myself someday." -Chip Reese
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